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Safe and sound

I really don’t want therapy today. Not in the usual way of dreading it because difficult things about the therapy relationship need to be dealt with, but just because I don’t need it. Everything is fine. There is nothing I need or want to talk about. It makes me wonder if I’ve reached the point where I only need therapy to deal with crises that come up.  I’m sure we’ll fill my session somehow, but I just feel a real resistance to talking to K and don’t want to let young parts talk to her either. It doesn’t feel as though this is a defensive position, it feels like it is coming from a place where things really are okay and we just want time and space by ourselves later to just be – writing, creating, being outdoors, cycling – and not to be delving in to things that can just be left alone. If we were working in-person it would be a nice session if I was feeling like this, and healing in its own way to be able to share the good in my life and the content feelings, but through a screen it just feels kind of pointless.

It is making me wonder – again – if there are now better things I could be spending my money on. It makes me wonder about cutting down my sessions. I want to take Nina to Paris next Spring, if there aren’t too many restrictions by then, and just think of the amazing time we could have if it weren’t on such a tight budget… I want to do some things to the house, nothing huge, just re-painting some rooms, but if I could pay someone to do this instead of struggling to do it myself, and with some help from my dad, it would be so much easier… I’m just sitting with these thoughts at the moment, knowing that I don’t always feel this way and that there are tough times ahead with Nina that it will be hard to manage with K.

I don’t know how therapy would have worked out this year had it not been for the pandemic. It felt important. I think I expected it to be taking in what she gave me, internalising safety and the feelings of attunement, now the good stuff was less triggering. The work was in us being together and figuring out how I want my life to be now I know and understand myself so well. As it turns out it feels as though most of the growth and change that has taken place within me and in how I relate to the outside world has happened away from her. So many of the positive decisions and change I have made I’ve not talked through with her. And the past 4 months have involved establishing safety away from her, in my own home, and constantly reminding myself that I exist here, in my life, body, home, space, and not only when I am with her. Lessons I had learnt but then forgot, when the pandemic started.

I can feel that as her availability has tightened up I’ve taken a step back. Again it doesn’t feel as though this is from a defensive place though. It feels more as though it is from a place where I have been able to remind myself – often – that I don’t need her in the way I once did. And I don’t want to need her. I don’t want that anymore. I needed to need her, to heal and stabilise and attach and all those things I needed from therapy, but I don’t now. It is hard, but I am learning to be there for myself more, and learning that I have so much awareness and knowledge and understanding of what I need now. It is a strange place to be in, because I don’t think I don’t need her or therapy at all. I guess part of me wishes there was a little more freedom to choose when I need her.

Anyway, I have annual leave for two weeks from Friday and have decided to take that away from therapy as well this time. It will be nice to see how that is. The sunshine always lifts me so dramatically and for the past few days I’ve felt firmly rooted and grounded into my own life. I love my home. I have great books to read and so much I want to learn and do and embody. On Saturday I cycled to the most incredible and magical Iron Age hill fort (somewhere K took me a year and a half ago in fact, and since has become a special place for me) and yesterday saw one of my oldest and closest friends who I wasn’t expecting to see for at least another year as her husband has CF and has been shielding. I am really looking forward to having some time off work and doing some fun day trips with Nina next week. And I am kind of relieved I won’t have to contend with these ambivalent feelings about therapy for a few weeks also.

I’m also aware that my session in just over 2 hours could drastically change all my thoughts and feelings. I guess this is one of the reasons why I feel so resistant to it, in case it disturbs everything when all of me is feeling okay today. I find it really hard to show K when I’m happy, content, settled, etc. because it triggers a lot of shame, more almost than when I’m really dysregulated and in a total state. I’m sure there is work to be done there, but it almost inevitably takes me to place where I look at how shit my parents were for me to have that level of shame over who I am and the good things I experience.

13 thoughts on “Safe and sound”

  1. I hope it goes okay.
    I’m glad you’re taking a break and will get to spend time with Nina in a relaxed setting.
    Is there any way you can play therapy by ear after the break?
    Sending hugs and sunshine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I don’t know if I could do that – if K gave my session to someone else it would be hard to get it back, and because of work I can’t do earlier in the day. I could reduce to fortnightly I think, but it would have to be consistent. I’ll see… xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I could have written this post 4 months ago! Like, word for word – though our contexts, and therapists, are different. I have been enjoying coming in to my own strength, and relying on the ways in which I’ve internalized her care, and the goodness of our relationship, as I’ve moved to dealing with the things that come up on my own (and, really, with the help and use of other people/resources). I finally had a session last week and made a big move to end it, promptly disregulated and freaked out (as you know! and thanks for the support!) — but then I dialled it back, got in touch with her about doing a few termination sessions around the intensity of the past 3 years of consistent work, and moving to a model where eI see her occasionally as stuff comes up but with a bit of consistency (like, every 2 or 3 months vs. ‘sometime in the future’). I am mourning the shift away from *wanting* the intensity of weekly trauma-work as yet another part of the grieving that’s happening around the pandemic. when the whole thing kicked off in March, we were just to the other side of a long rupture, and we were better than ever — I was looking forward to leaning in to that to do some deep, murky, heavy work. The pandemic frenzy robbed me of the emotional space to do that work, and taking a step back has been the right thing.

    I also hear you on the money — it’s been NICE not to have to shell out so much each week, and I have gotten other things taken care of. Paris with Nina sounds amazing! So does sprucing up your home.

    K will be there. Even if the break is till school starts, even if it’s for the next 6 months. When you’ve settled into whatever comes after this normal, and we can be in company again, she will be there awaiting for you and your parts. I firmly believe you can trust in that! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really wish I could trust she would be there waiting… I mean, I kind of *know* she would be, but I can’t feel it.

      I’m glad you have a plan for consistent contact with T after your ending sessions. That sounds wise. I’m with you on just not wanting to do intensive weekly work at the moment!

      I really do keep thinking about what I could do with all that money. Paris would be amazing. I just feel like I work SO hard, and I don’t get the benefit of that because after therapy it’s like I’m on a much lower salary. I guess I’ll see how it all feels over the break….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. she WILL be there. she’s k! there is so much love in the work you do with her.

        But yeah — enjoy the extra cash and breathing room!! it’s not therapy, but I have found the space away from T, and especially the effort to push through and trust she’d still be there, to also be therapeutic, and its own kind of lighter, more thoughtful but also very satisfying work.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think I just worry about her health meaning she’ll stop being a therapist and won’t be there when I return (if I took a longer break). But I’m pretty sure she couldn’t afford that anyway! I’m glad to have a few weeks of breathing space now at least ❤️


  3. I really hope your session was good and you came out feeling settled and stable. It’s nice to capitalise on those calm periods and just live! Especially after so much upset and upheaval. I often wonder when I feel like that whether it’s genuine happiness or a defence against the shit!! Either way it’s best to make the most of it! Big hugs x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Big hugs back at ya! I felt ok after, it was a fairly non-eventful session. I agree – it’s a little disconcerting when things are like this and I wonder if I’ve missed something… Either way, good to enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

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